Sirromet offers up perfect collection for Valentine’s Day

If you’ve had anything to do with weddings or “love” occasions lately, you’re sure to have seen Sirromet’s Love My range, perfectly suited to easy drinking and joyous occasions, whether it be formal or a relaxing family picnic.

Pretty in pink is the theme, with love my sweet bubbly white and rosé and love my sweet lite red and sweet fruity white; and for those that enjoy a little individuality, Love My comes in the standard 750ml bottle as well as a smartly designed 4 pack of 187ml. For those that relish their bold, heavy reds and crisp whites, Love My isn’t necessarily the collection for you, but you may be quite surprised with how well this range goes down on a warm afternoon. 

Mango Prawn and Watercress stack, paired Love My Sweet Bubbly Rosé

While we all may not have the chance to sit among the vines of Sirromet Winery in Mount Cotton, Love My transports you straight onto the deck of their Tuscan Terrace with the mouth-watering wafts of handmade pizza fresh out of the wood fired oven. Think about a wide and airy timber deck looking over a helipad and meadow, a Tuscan kitchen and a typical Tuscan tree shaded area, and it’s like you’re a part of another world all together. 

If you’re wining and dining your loved one this Valentine’s Day, don’t look past Love My as your wine pairing, as the sweet bubbly rosé with its beautifully balanced floral palate featuring fresh strawberries, ripe cherries and hints of musk will complement entrees of chilli prawns, grilled lobster, scallops, smoked salmon and even cuttlefish ceviche; while the sweet lite red brings out floral notes that are intrinsically hidden behind a palate of cherry and boysenberry, making it the perfect wine to enjoy with a spicy Thai beef salad, crab cakes and stir fried duck or chicken. Either will go down deliciously with a chocolate panna cotta. 

Photos courtesy of Sirromet Winery, Restaurant Lurleen's and Tuscan Terrace. Sirromet branded glasses are available at their Cellar Door.

Product Review: Arette Blanco Tequila

While enjoying your margarita in celebration of International Margarita Day (February 22), spare a thought for the Tequila you’re using.

Did you know that if the Tequila isn’t made from at 100% Blue Agave it is technically not Tequila? For the Tequila connoisseurs, a Tequila must be 100% Blue Agave to be considered a real Tequila while those containing 51% Blue Agave are considered Tequila Mixto (or Mezcal).  Leaving the debate behind, just trust us when we say that you want to try a 100% Blue Agave Tequila before anything else, the quality is unmatched as well as the taste. Interested in a little Tequila trivia? See our fun facts here 

Photo Credit ~ Tide and Thyme.

To put it into perspective:

What everyone is drinking:  Jose Cuervo Silver.

What you should be drinking:  Arette Blanco.  

Yes Jose Cuervo is smooth (and a perfectly good drink and mixer), but what makes Tequila, Tequila, is the warm kick at the back of your throat. A complex flavour hit to your palate with a kick to your being is exactly the experience you should be... well... experiencing!

Arette Blanco is “a Tequila from the Tequila town, perfectly true to its origin.” Enjoy clear flavours of citrus, honey and flowers with a hint of pepper. Pour it into a snifter glass and you will experience hues of herbs and honey as well as a hint of nutty complexity on your nose before it hits your palate.

The Blue Agave used in the production of Arette Blanco is exclusively cultivated on the edge of Tequila town, Mexico at the El Llano Distillery owned by the Orendain Family since the early 1900’s. The El Llano distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in the region and has produced premium Tequila for an age, using water from the wellsprings of the Tequila volcano. 

If you’re not yet convinced, we ask you to put it to the taste test. For more information see Arette’s official website: 

Arette Blanco is perfect for a true margarita, check out our recipes here.

Product Review: Fardoulis Chocolates

Unrivalled in reputation for crafting superior, distinctive and great tasting chocolate is Fardoulis Chocolates. With the idea to create a unique after dinner mint for restaurants and cafes, Fardoulis was born and with quick growth their chocolates became the perfect gift and guilty pleasure.  

With scrumptious fillings such as raspberry truffle, cookies and cream, caramel mousse, hazelnut praline wafer and passionfruit crème to choose from, Fardoulis Chocolate’s are one of our top 6 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for the Foodie.  

For those that love cooking with chocolate, we gave Fardoulis’ dark chocolate range a test run in the kitchen and it was a delicious success. To create some truly decadent chocolate pancakes check out our recipe here.

AGFG’s Resident Chef Shawn Sheather reviews:

"Normally a dark chocolate has an extremely bitter aftertaste, Fardoulis dark chocolate doesn't have this intensity so it has more appeal to the sensitive palate which allows for versatility in the kitchen. As a chef this means that I can pair it with more flavours and diversify the dish."

Fardoulis’ dark chocolate range was definitely versatile in the kitchen, if you’re playing with the fillings range why not chop up the cookies and cream and garnish pancakes along with vanilla ice cream and strawberries?  

To experience the ultimate touch of luxury on your lips this Valentine's Day, check out their website:

Product Review: Bonne Maman

Bonne Maman has just won the award for Most Satisfied Customers for 2014 by Canstar Blue, with this AGFG thought that “Australia’s Preferred Jam” needed to be put to the test.

So what do most do with Jam? Other than spreading it on your morning toast, it goes perfect with a lazy Sunday morning breakfast of lemonade scones, see our recipe here.  Also if you have any fresh croissants around, any Bonne Maman jam will work like a treat. 

How does it fair? Well being a French Jam it certainly has the pedigree to satisfy – just think back to when your grandmother used to make homemade preserves and you ate it fresh, well that’s certainly the taste of Bonne Maman. With the taste of natural jam without the hint of flavour enhancements and a smooth but stable texture it will be your perfect pairing to your morning toast, bagel or scone.

AGFG’s Resident Chef Shawn Sheather reviews:

“I love the bite from the real strawberries; they were just like what I remember from my childhood, not just sugar sweet with flavour, but a real fruit flavour and texture. The strawberry preserve has a subtle acid hit letting you know it’s a real fruit conserve, this is followed by a long lasting real strawberry flavour."

We used the classic strawberry preserve in our recipe, however Bonne Maman’s range is extensive from plum to four fruits as well as the intriguing “fruit of the forest,” you can even enjoy chestnut cream.

Bonne Maman is available nationally in Coles, Woolworths and leading independent supermarkets. For further information on Bonne Maman visit:

Hellyers Road Distillery: A Review

Built on Tasmania's reputation for producing high quality food and beverage, Hellyers Road Distillery started producing boutique Whisky in 2006. 

Tasmanian single malts have quickly become a major force domestically and internationally, company director Laurie House had the foresight in 1999 to begin distilling single malts in Burnie (North West Tasmania) and the venture has proven to be very successful. 

Hellyers' Whisky varieties are now available in 21 countries in Europe such as Holland, Belgium, Sweden, UK, Romania, Greece and France. Their peated single malt was recognised as Australia's best in 2010. 

Hellyers Road Distillery has released their original single malt whisky aged 12 years just in time for Christmas. As their most significant milestone to date, this superb whisky has calming softness to the palate - much reflective of it's age it is a gentle spirit that has sweet tones of vanilla and citrus.

An excellent Christmas gift for any whisky lover - RRP $99.50 for a bottle that comes in it's own canister for perfect display on your bar. 

Christmas Gift Ideas - Read It and Eat

December 2012

By Kelly Korpesio

Advent Calendar Countdown for Bibliophile Foodies

Do you love to read, admire and collect books?  Are you amassing a large and specialized collection of libacious literature or know someone who has?  One more question… do you love to cook?  

If a resounding ‘yes’ is ringing loud like Christmas bells to one or more of these queries, then look no further for Christmas gift ideas.  Akin to an advent calendar (with less calories than the chocolate kind), we’re counting down to Christmas with one book in mind per day.  

This curation is particularly focused on food, wine and culture as represented by Australian publishers.  If you’re a gourmand at heart with affinity for home cooking, the new AGFG Shop is an affordable online option selling select cookbooks and food products that will put a taste of luxury into every pantry.

Finding gift ideas on the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant rather than wine tasting at the Good Food & Wine Show.  With ease and elegance in mind, read about it, drink it up, cook, eat and be merry.

Anticipating Christmas:  Last Minute Gift Lit Consideration

1.  ‘Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook’ by Maggie Beer, Penguin (2012)

At the Good Food & Wine Show this year, there was a distinct buzz around Maggie Beer’s cooking demonstrations ‘Verjuice – It’s Love at First Splash’.  Those who had a taste of Maggie Beer’s mouth-watering menu at GFWS Oxford Landing Estates Restaurant were swooning with the life and intensity in her food.  ‘Maggie’s Verjuice Cookbook’ lavishly highlights this natural acidulant in her recipes, giving cuisine a sharpness and bite.

2.  ‘Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals’ by Jamie Oliver, Penguin (2012)

Jamie Oliver does it again, and if you’ve been watching the tele you know the deal; ’15-Minute Meals’ is made for weekday meal preparation in mind.  If you’re already a fan or keen to be converted, read more in our recent interview with Jamie where he stomps out all excuses for kitchen laziness, calling peoples copouts pure bollocks.  When it comes to home cooking, you are not allowed to exclaim ‘I don’t know how’ ever again.  BONUS:  Cool points include the back of the book where each two course meal is displayed graphically in a small format so that it reads over five pages like a comic book.   

3.  ‘Sydney 360’, self published by photographer Con Hionis (2012)

Cylindrical panoramas that spin you around on a whirlwind visual tour of Sydney’s architecture to shores, from New Thai dining hubs in pedestrian lined streets of Chinatown to the arenaceous marine dock in Balmain.


Brought to you by a mother and daughter team who specialize in communications, this is their latest publication in the ‘Produce to Platter’ series featuring top chefs, local secrets, and regional stories alongside stunning full-colour photography from the Yarra Valley & The Dandenongs.

5.  ‘Australian Wine Vintages 2013’ by Robert Geddes MW

Best known as ‘The Gold Book’, this shiny, metallic, and petit book of advice comes in a white box that requires only a bow – it’s the perfect stocking stuffer.  Corporate types can order a box or two with their insignia on the front.  
6.  ‘Desserts’ by Belinda Jeffery, Penguin (2012)

Ask Belinda Jeffery and she’ll happily tell you she has the best job in the world.  Constantly writing cooking tips here, there and everywhere, with each new release she tries to incorporate bits of experiential knowledge wherever she can within its pages.  Baking Christmas biscuits… how about trying pecan and honey melt-in-the-mouths, mascarpone and ginger biscuit cake, chewy ginger and almond lace biscuits, and lime and coconut tuiles?  

7.  ‘Wild Sugar Desserts’ by Skye Craig and Lyndel Miller, New Holland (2012)

If you like to live on the wild side, there’s no reason it needs to stop with your cooking.  Bling up your holidays with Glass Balls which are awe-inspiring delicate and ornate spun sugar clusters developed by a diva cooking duo, including Skye Craig whom you may remember from the second season of 'MasterChef', that both maintain ‘We love sweeties.  We love eating them.  We love making them.  We love sharing them.’

8.  ‘The Next Element’ by Andy Allen, New Holland (2012)

Winner of ‘MasterChef 2012’, this twenty-something former sparky is now a reliable cook that lights up a room a room with his down to earth personality and electric, eclectic dishes.  Moving right along, Andy loves to cook and there’s no looking back… his ‘Next Element’ is food and his book expresses the process, from cooking basics for your family to feasts with friends – with notes on preparing as much as you can in advance so you can enjoy the festivities – to ‘MasterChef’ recipes and other new food directions.   Check out our New Year blog interviews for more from Andy on the whole writing experience.  

9. ‘Homemade’ by Anna Gare, Fremantle Press (2011)

Former Junior MasterChef judge and mentor (also a rockstar back in the day) Anna Gare has gone the length to share her recipes is a really personal way.  We know her from television and become further acquainted in ‘Homemade’. She's honest, with an impromptu way about her, and we’re looking forward to speaking with her early next year. Keep an eye on our blog in February for an interview with Anna on the book, her TV show and love – of food and life. 

10. Lantern Cookery Classics, Penguin (2012)

There’s something about the orange cover of a Penguin classic that entices readers to pick up a copy and reacquaint with a great writer; sometimes it’s a new-to-know experience, other times it’s like connecting with an old friend.  There are six books so you can pick up the entire series or chop and change the titles around for who loves what.  Lantern Cookery Classics showcase:  Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer, Matt Moran, and Stephanie Alexander. 

11. ‘What Katie Ate’ by Katie Quinn Davies, Penguin (2012) 

Includes ‘recipes and other bits & bobs’, not to mention an inspirational artist's success story that has inspired thirty-something women throughout Australia.  A food blogger who has graduated to hard copy status, Katie Quinn Davies has gone through the highs and lows and the completion of this book is definitely a coup de grace.  An enduring record of her recipes expressed verbatim and accompanied by her original photography, this one merits a permanent place on your bookshelf – though it won’t stay there long, as your friends will all want to flip through it straight away when they pop by.  

12. ‘Love and Hunger’ by Charlotte Wood, Allen & Unwin (2012)

No photos in this one; this book is a simple antidote to food pressures in the overwhelming world of celebrity chefs.  Charlotte Wood writes ‘thoughts on the gift of food’, an amusing ode expressing how and why she learned to cook in such a way that it becomes a practical guide for you to do the same along the way.

13. ‘Janella’s Wholefood Kitchen’ by Janella Purcell, Allen & Unwin (2012)

She’s a woman who goes her own way.  We know her for many things.  Amongst authorship, she’s been the ‘good’ nutritionist counterpart on ‘Good Chef Bad Chef’ GCBC and is known for her emphasis on SLOW food:  seasonal, local, organic and whole.  Her recipes are identified as dairy free, gluten free, raw, vegetarian and vegan so ‘Wholefood Kitchen’ is a handy one to have around.  If you, errr… I mean the lucky person you’re gift shopping for, is transitioning the household for meatless Mondays or is into the good health, holistic and long term diet approach to meal planning, this is the one.  

14. ‘Meat’ by Adrian Richardson, Hardie Grant (2008)

This may be one of the older publications on our list; however, with Australia Day the next holiday we have in mind after Christmas, ‘Meat’ is a worthy companion for BBQ champs. 

15. ‘The Good Life’ by Adrian Richardson, Pan Macmillan  (2011)

A new side to the story, showing that there’s more to this man than meat.  You can’t tell a good book by its cover, but can you tell a good book by how its cover feels?  Testament to the quality of the homemade recipes within, ‘The Good Life’ is physically padded – it's soft to the touch, cushy even.  Bless, this is a year of cooking and eating with Adrian (whom we also know from GCBC amongst other shows), his family and friends.  

16. ‘Have You Eaten’ by Billy Law, Hardie Grant (2012)

A Sydney food blogger, too, some became more familiar with Billy on ‘MasterChef’.  Originally from Malaysia, the title of his book is a phrase commonly used in his home country as a greeting.  Since he moved to Australia in 1996, Billy has picked up food techniques and Western influences including, chocolate – it’s not just for desserts anymore.  

17. ‘My Feast with Peter Kuruvita’, Hardie Grant (2012)

We’ve seen him on SBS, and foodies with a love for gourmet products have tried his new product line, now to read these island recipes and incorporate them into our summer life is a feasible option.  Food influences you’ll come to know include:  The South Pacific, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.  

18. ‘Lentil as Anything’ by Shanaka Fernando, Vivid Publishing (2012)

An author referred to as a modern revolutionary, ‘Lentil As Anything’ refers to Shanaka’s Melbourne-based community restaurants and the book is his biography that reflects his unique ‘people first’ philosophy.  His tales hint at a 1970s childhood in Sri Lanka and extend to the present where Shanaka maintains and promotes the philosophy that ‘everybody deserves a place at the table’.

19. ‘Sails Noosa Cookbook’ by Paul Leete, Independent

When you holiday and Noosa over the holidays, this is a gift to pick up when dining in Sails Restaurant.  Their story is worth telling, and like many proud restaurateurs, they’ve taken it upon themselves to tell an important local story by way of food – ‘fresh, simple food presented perfectly and professionally’.

From the chefs of Spirit House in the Sunshine Coast comes a modern Thai inspired world, full of flavour and in this case, Asian influenced BBQ recipes.  When these chefs are not busy fuelling the restaurant with extraordinary food, they’re sharing their unique style and technique with students in their cooking school.  Perfect for summer entertaining.  

21. ‘Latitude 36.50’ by Jean-Michel Gerst, New Holland (2012)

Taking us in another gastronomic direction, this collection resonates on a warming level. From a mountainous setting, these recipes are categorically designed with that alpine culture at the heart.  Hit the slopes for breakfast, refuel at lunch and opt for an afternoon sugar hit that you’ve made yourself – there’s nothing tastier.  

22. ‘Slow Cooking’ by Margaret Fulton, New Holland (2012)

When Margaret Fulton started writing in 1968, her self-titled book sold over 1.5 million copies, teaching the generations how to entertain guests with impressive staples.  A timeless goddess of cookery writing, Margaret Fulton is now ensuring we maximize our use of the ever versatile slow cooker for stews, casseroles and… breads and cakes.  There’s nothing old fashioned about a crockpot and no better way to pick up modern tips than from a legend.  

23. ‘The Cook’s Bible of Ingredients’ by Margaret Brooker, New Holland (2012)

Photos can go a long way in assisting us in preparing new dishes, at least giving us a visual idea of what we’re looking for.  Margaret Brooker’s book ensures the image speaks loudly in educating us on basic ingredients.  A picture book with helpful information that covers the dietary food pyramid; a gamut of area is covered from grains and cereals to sweeteners and flavourings. 

24. ‘Movida Cocina’ by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish, Murdoch (2011)

The king of Spanish cuisine in Australia has paired with writing colleague Richard Cornish to release Movida Cocina through Murdoch Books, which came out late last year - Frank Camorra has done it again.  Novice cooks beware... some recipes in MoVida Cocina are indeed hearty while emphasizing simple flavours, but are certainly not effortless in the making. Preparation needs to start three days in advance for their pork and pepper Catalan sausage with black beans and piquillo peppers, “Butifarra” (the name Frank originally wanted to call his first restaurant).

To complete the advent countdown, we’re offering the gift of continuity.  Check back in our blog periodically, every month or so for book reviews that will offer great ideas for gastronomes and lovers of all things food, wine and travel – with a particular emphasis on Australia.  Oftentimes we’ll interview the author where they’ll dish out some of the juicy details on their work in the kitchen and other tid bits of advice and hot topic ideas. 

Happy Christmas gift shopping readers, eaters and cooks.  Check out the new AGFG Shop for pantry items, treats, chef ranges, beverages and molecular specials.  

Product Review - MoVida Cocina

October 2012

Spanish Fiesta for your Mouth

The king of Spanish cuisine in Australia has paired with writing colleague Richard Cornish to release Movida Cocina through Murdoch Books, which came out late last year - Frank Camorra has done it again.

MoVida restaurants are committed to serving foods that have progressed to be the best they can be, served in the Spanish way with Australian fresh produce sourced as a primary influence.  MoVida Cocina includes recipes that represent what you’ll find on their menus; after ten years in business some dishes have definitely stood the test of time and all of them will stand up to trial by fire of your tastebuds.

Try a party paella sample recipe from  Movida Cocina in our AGFG Recipes section.


This “Paella de Fiesta” dish stems from MoVida Aqui’s annual Christmas parties, where the chefs and front-of-house staff celebrate on the sunny banks of the Yarra River.  The inviting vision of dozens of people mingling around the gas burner and paella pan evokes the sense of the casual Spanish spirit and untiring fellowship.  

MoVida Cocina is a food story that naturally extends from the creativity in not one, but five kitchens.  There’s companionship surrounding Frank Camorra’s professional stovetops, and there’s no question that his long-term chefs have been well mentored (many from apprenticeship) and that they get his food. This is Frank’s third cookbook, giving home cooks a chance to do what they love and get what Spanish cooking and eating is all about. 

This book includes tapas style foods akin to those at MoVida Next Door, nice and easy recipes such as roasted vegetable and anchovy rolls, “Bocadillos de verdures con Anchoas”.   MoVida Cocina also gives you a chance to discover a great combination of dishes from Spain that are more robust but simple, characteristic of MoVida Aqui.

Novice cooks beware... some recipes in MoVida Cocina are indeed hearty while emphasizing simple flavours, but are certainly not effortless in the making. Preparation needs to start three days in advance for their pork and pepper Catalan sausage with black beans and piquillo peppers, “Butifarra” (the name Frank originally wanted to call his first restaurant).

If you’re new to Frank Camorra’s cookbooks, previous publication MoVida Rustica literally brought the pillars of Spain’s culinary spreads to Australia based on vast travels from Madrid to Andalucia while the original MoVida covers the basics.

With all the forward momentum, Frank had this to say about his book and the trade. 

AGFG:  You’ve released three books through Murdoch, all co-authored with Richard Cornish who looks at food diversity, significance and taste.   He specializes on looking at the producer, chef and consumer relationship and you’re the chef, so how does the writing pan out between you two?

FRANK:  The more I work on the books the more I enjoy writing stuff.  MoVida Rustica was written in a car travelling through Spain, and Richard makes it come together as a written work.  We spend so much time writing together, we have a good relationship and obviously I work out the recipes beforehand and then we test them out together.  We’re friends and colleagues so I look forward to the next project.

MoVida Cocina offers simple and complicated recipes – it depends on the readers’ ability.  It shows what we do in the restaurants and gives you something delicious to make at home, such as our Catalan spinach dish with raisins; add lemon juice and season with salt and that’s it.

More complicated examples include the potato and bacon terrine with smoked eel.  Whatever the level of cook, it’s all in there.  A few rice dishes like our Aqui paella are complex and can be cooked for 20 or 30 people, and there are Italian rice recipes to try.  Our award winning air-dried wagyu with truffled potato foam and poached egg is too complicated for home cooking, but some may want to do it at home, so you’ll find it in MoVida Cocina.

AGFG:  Being awarded 2 hats for your original MoVida restaurant in Melbourne bodes well for the brand and your recognition as one of Australia’s great chefs.  With MoVida Sydney opening up this month, what are you saying when you stand on the soapbox?

FRANK:  When we first opened people’s perception is that we weren’t serious.  We do put hard work into our Spanish food.  It’s not French, it’s not Italian, but it’s just as sophisticated.  

After we won the 2nd hat, perceptions changed and people had expectations.  We had to meet them in the middle so that our casual and relaxed Spanish dining was maintained amongst their fine dining expectations; we had to make it more formal because people were expecting a certain standard of service. MoVida Next Door was opened and became more like the original MoVida, like a local bar in Madrid.  We found that balance without losing what we about. 

AGFG:  After a really long day, what’s your guilty pleasure?

FRANK:  I do eat a lot better than I used to… but I have a big soft spot for a really good terrine and chorizo.  When it comes to wine pairing, a dry sherry with salty tapas with ocean flavours.  

Pick up a copy of Movida Cocina (Murdoch, 2011) and replicate Frank's favourite terrine and other Spanish delights in your home kitchen.  

Read the full interview with Frank Camorra in our AGFG blog.

By Kelly Korpesio

Book Review - Australian Wine Companion

Bestselling Definitive Wine Guide 

What is James Halliday reviewing this year?  Even if you bookmark his webpage, follow his blog and connect with James in the social media, the Australian Wine Companion 2013 offers readers unique scholarship.  The facts, like the weather, vary from year to year and with new wineries popping up out of the woodwork Wine Companion is your go-to information source on what’s new from our vineyards.

When It Comes to Food & Wine?

James has built this brand on the foundation of fine Australian wine and while we may wonder what a man like him eats for breakfast, it’s more a question of what he drinks for breakfast?  Not that he drinks wine all day, every day by any means, rather when served a special wine by an amicable host alongside farm fresh back bacon, he is apt to accept and prone to finish (the meal and the wine).


Halliday is not committed to wine consumption, but he is steadfast in ensuring a good bottle never goes to waste once offered.  His entire enterprise is built on decades as a wine judge and writing wine reviews with particular emphasis on Australian wine.  James is now in his 70s and his expertise in European vintage allows him unparalleled comparative measure; however, he is mentoring Ben Edwards and you will discover reviews in Wine Companion initialled JH or BE accordingly.

When it comes to food matching, the voice of James Halliday rings strong on the wine side of things; while foodies run the risk of focusing on fine food with wine as an afterthought, James is quick to point out the reverse.  His writing highlights the wines you want at dinner so that you can cook accordingly.  For voracious travelling connoisseurs, the annual Australian Wine Companion tells the story of vintage, vineyards and barrel rooms.  If you want breaking news on cellar doors being redesigned to offer high-quality foods to match their wines, it’s all in here. 


Wine Companion Growth Spurt 


On an annual basis with utmost precision, The Wine Companion itself impresses upon amateur wine lovers and experts alike the enormity of drinking and collecting options out there.  For those pulled in by graphics and gloss, last year the Wine Companion extended their reach with the bimonthly release of their well crafted magazine by the same name.  

Christmas is right around the corner and there are fathers to consider, amongst other impossible-to-shop-for types, and these gourmet rags sit well in a gift bag while the book itself will surely keep everything in place.  


Read our recent Q&A with James Halliday, reflecting on his memoirs within A Life in Wine.   


By Kelly Korpesio 

Book Review - Fire & Spice by Christine Manfield

August 2012

A Universal Dining Experience


Whether you’re eating out or dining in, Christine Manfield offers voracious customers and curious cooks a healthy dose of spice.  She is a celebrated owner chef of Universal Restaurant in Sydney, and acclaimed food and travel writer whose seventh book was released in May; following that she also has her own spice line to ease your culinary way.  

Her latest release, Fire & Spice circumvents sugar, spice and everything nice, making room for recipes that reveal a broad spectrum of universally acknowledged good gastronomic foods from all over the globe.


Distinctive Cuisine in Australia 


Perfectionist cookery and travel lit author, Christine Manfield is a skilled master on many fronts.  Under her vision and leadership, the Fire & Spice creative team has come together with a clear focus to deliver a book that will once again encourage keen cooks to endeavour with passion and flair.

After introducing the basic spice rules, you’ll discover simple categories including fish and shellfish; meat and poultry; vegetables, rice and noodles; and desserts.  Christine’s essential tips are worth their weight in salt and her definitive glossary will guide you along the red hot road.  The photography of Anson Smart makes a magical harmony to Christine’s evolved culinary experiments.  

"Fire & Spice is a synopsis of a life built around food,

a hand-picked selection of some of my personal favourites

from two much-loved recipe books."

-Christine Manfield


According to Christine, fire and spice in Australian cuisine are perfect potent partners in our cooking adventure.  Her recipes throw caution to the wind, defying the convenience term “fusion” with a confident delivery of strong cross-cultural flavours that parallel Australia’s characteristic cuisine.

A firm believer that food and travel go hand in hand, whether or not you’ve experienced exotic destinations such as India, Morocco, or Spain firsthand, Christine gives everyone the opportunity to take a fiery taste tour with spicy conjunctions in the convenience of your own kitchen.  


Seasoning & Spice in Adventurous Recipes

Fire & Spice is an inclusive term that definitely includes desserts, including a few daring signatures; from entrees to mains to the grand finale, each recipe is a welcome adventure.  Christine Manfield skilfully presents classics with contemporary components and gives a fresh face to Australian cuisine with clean flavours often presented with various options for optimum flexibility.   
In top cookbooks each recipe reads as a minor inflection in the author’s vast culinary journey as is the case in Fire & Spice.  A seasoned chef and veteran traveller, Christine Manfield openly shares her personal “best of” recipe collection from respective works, allowing the reproduction of her food be a sensual showcase of her planetary explorations.  

Fire and Spice was released by Penguin Australia in May 2012. 


Learn more about the author in our interview with Christine Manfield and for further reading check out the corresponding book review on Tasting India.

By Kelly Korpesio 

Book Review - Rockpool

July 2012

Rockpool by Neil Perry

“Part of the responsibility of a cook is not just to create new recipes for cooks to follow, nor to show the world new food never seen in any other cookbook, but rather, to distil the hits and misses that come out of the thousands of hours that I have cooked, the thousands of words that I have read, and the many great meals I have enjoyed around the world.”  

-Neil Perry, in the Introduction to Rockpool (New Holland, 2012)

Originally published in 1996 and back by popular demand, Rockpool represents a slice of history that you must taste for yourself.  If you missed this cookbook the first time around, now’s your chance to sink your teeth into harmonious dishes by Neil Perry.

Try Neil Perry's truffle and potato salad recipe from Rockpool, giving you a mind-blowing taste from this remarkable cookbook.


His Rockpool recipes represent a wide range of cuisine from cocktail selections to a delectable truffles, caviar and oysters section and naturally conclude with sweet things.  There’s much to anticipate and the recipe variety is balanced with Neil’s culinary philosophy on Old World and New World culture amidst modern applications of eastern and western influences.



CLICK HERE to read this truffle story extract, courtesy of New Holland

Trusted Australian Chef

The world reveres his Rockpool brand and everyone salivates over his fine food.  Adding another layer to Neil Perry’s credibility is his authorship, and part of the appeal in his writing is that inextricable culinary knowledge.  Neil Perry is a trusted Australian Chef who we’ve come to know as a chef on TV and whose very name connotes quality.  Neil’s success as a writer has stood the test of time, his prowess bolstered on expert chef status and reflecting voracious consumption of cookery lit over a longstanding career.  

Preceding the Perfect Steak

Before there was Rockpool Bar & Grill, presenting the perfect steak, the brand was established with Rockpool Sydney. In suit this re-release of Rockpool denotes the foundational elements of Neil Perry’s cooking prior to the brand’s massive spread at a slightly different angle.  

Rockpool Quality

A huge part of hospitality is atmosphere and true to Rockpool’s superior quality, Neil contributes context to the recipes in the cookbook writing.  As in fine dining, readers are welcomed into his world straight away and Neil becomes akin to a companion.  If having cooked your way through Rockpool you feel as though you’ve been on a culinary journey with an old friend, then he has succeed once again – we’ll leave that up to you.  


Free to Decide

For Neil Perry, cooking is freedom.  Freedom granted by being born in Australia, a New World country with a multicultural society that demands variety in its authentic modern cuisine.  His recipes may seem complicated; however, with the mindset that certain dishes are simply long compilations of small recipes the largess collection of instructions is quite accessible.  

Reading Rockpool you get a sense of how Neil Perry distinguishes his Australian cuisine and reminds us of the foundation behind his most momentous Rockpool brand, a business he’s built step-by-step akin to his recipes.

Want more of the Rockpool story?  Are you curious about Neil Perry’s culinary exploration from East to West and the harmony of the two?  Need to try four more delicious truffle recipes?  

Rockpool was re-released in soft cover on June 2012.   Rockpool was originally published by New Holland on May 2010.  Check with your local bookstore for availability.

Collecting the works of Neil Perry?  Learn more about his most recent cookbook in our AGFG book review on Rockpool Bar & Grill.  

By Kelly Korpesio 

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